NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ857088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
Digital Natives: Back to the Future of Microworlds in a Corporate Learning Organization
Cabanero-Johnson, Paz Susan; Berge, Zane
Learning Organization, v16 n4 p290-297 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide description and an analysis of two worlds colliding where real-world roles or ideas play out in a virtual dimension. Inhabited by digital natives, the virtual world in a learning organization is a journey back to the future of microworlds where the only limitation is one's imagination. Design/methodology/approach: In 1990, when computer technology flexs its range of useful possibilities, Senge envisions its practical application in a learning organization. He purports the use of computer simulations which he calls microworlds, as a virtual sandbox for learning. His vision, is expanded today, means virtual worlds that co-exist with the real world. Second life is an example of that virtual world. The possibilities for learning inherent in this virtual world seem limitless in a knowledge-driven, global society hungry for the next creative and innovative way of transforming the world, real or virtual. Findings: Digital natives are the drivers of change who will explore the brave new world of computer simulations. As simulations become more technologically infuse with artificial intelligence, its application for education and learning will broaden and expand. Unlike the static interface of a textbook, which shows limitations in content scope and delivery, this virtual world knows no limits in knowledge expansion. Validated course content, formal and informal knowledge contributions from peers and experts alike, networked knowledge coming from Web resources and the internet enrich the learner's ability beyond measure to experience the world and know it better and more intimately. Practical implications: The emergent technology of virtual worlds utilizing simulations of real life work situations is a throwback to the microworlds of yesterday. They are ideal for conducting thought experiments that deepen with experiential understanding. This technology-mediated form of learning affords the opportunity to experience the results of an action which may take a lifetime to learn in real time. This virtual world allows decision-making but eliminates the risks of serious, unintended consequences. It is a wonderful resource for living vicariously experiences which are unavailable or unlikely in the real world. Originality/value: Virtual simulations are useful for learning concepts, ideas, and assumptions that are difficult to perform or test in the physical dimension. Digital natives, people who were born in the 1980s, explore Second Life, and the paper discusses the value of this virtual world.
Emerald. 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139. Tel: 888-622-0075; Fax: 617-354-6875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A